Sit with us 

Mindfulness can have an active and powerful role for investing in all aspects of your health. It is an opportunity to strengthen and heal yourself from within. It is important to remember when performing a mindfulness exercise to not force relaxation. Simply let go of the tendency to want things to be different and allow things to be exactly ‘as is.’


Mindfulness can be done anywhere and at any time. Its simplistic approach to being aware is done by just paying attention to thoughts, feelings and emotions without judgement or criticism. You can enact a formal practice of mindfulness by sitting with your eyes closed and having a solid 10 minutes or more of training your mind to continue to pay attention to your breath while turning your attention away from any sensations or ideas that arise. For others, a mindfulness practice can be a more casual experience by remembering throughout the day to not react to emotions, but instead pause before jumping to a response.




Regardless of how you choose to practice mindfulness, the benefits are endless. All you need to remember is that all thoughts and emotions, feelings and ideas should not be pushed away or told to leave. We have the ability to tolerate all challenging emotions, even if in the moment they feel intolerable. The way we handle difficult feelings with a mindfulness perspective is to tell all of our sensations to have a seat, to be present and then gently turn your attention away from them and towards the focus of your breath. Without being mindful, we get in the habit of telling our difficult thoughts and feelings “you can’t sit with us.” The move Mean Girls coined this phrase for a generation of teenagers who felt the need to be included through the use of exclusion. It is human nature to push things away. It is almost a natural response to tell something that we don’t like or that we don’t understand to leave.




When we tell our emotions and ideas that they can’t sit with us because they are challenging, we end up developing an unhealthy relationship to our thoughts and feelings in which we focus on exclusion and develop a system wherein we become reactionary and aggressive with ourselves. In mindfulness we invite all emotions to have a seat, without judgement or criticism. This is what is called “the art of allowing.” To allow is to not grasp and to not control. To allow means we accept what is and we in turn have more time and energy to focus on the things that are in our immediate control.


There’s an app for connecting kids during lunchtime for the purpose of inclusion. This resource allows children to have someone to sit with and in turn feel less alone and more connected to their peers. “Sit With Us” allows the more shy and sometimes rejected child, who usually has a hard time finding someone to sit with in the lunchroom, to have a place to be welcomed. The app is a readily available resource that facilitates the joining of children that seek an experience of being included.


This “Sit With Us” invitation is a cornerstone concept of mindfulness that provides us with a framework to observe and allow the challenging mental and emotional chaos that inevitably exists in all of our heads. The more we tell a thought it can’t sit with us or that it needs to be cleared away before we can be “OK,” we ultimately lead our feelings into more chaotic direction. Don’t engage with the things that you do not want further engagement with. If we accept that all emotions are part of the human experience, we fight less with ourselves, we become more resilient and we discover a deepening of our character.


All challenging ideas and emotions can have a seat at the table by a simple invitation of non-judgment that is then followed up with the act of turning your attention towards those things that promote wellness and trains our brains to entertain thoughts and feelings that feel good. This “Sit With Us” focus sets the stage for more compassion with ourselves and those around us.

Not feeling capable or courageous enough to hold space for the emotions of another is because we lack understanding for what they are experiencing and the same goes for when we are unable to be present with our own ideas and sensations. In direct measure, when we meet ourselves with curiosity and acceptance, our ability to allow and contain others is enhanced. Proportionately, opening our hearts to ourselves correlates to how well we are able to open our own hearts to the experiences of those around us.

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This “we are all one” perspective provides us an initial step into cultivating ways to meet challenging moments with more resilience. Enacting empathy, using gentleness, and practicing compassion is how we become more present and more aware. Being aware provides us with a template for seeing the world with more balance. As we practice being present we view the world with less reactionary impulses and acceptance.


The process by which we are able to encounter the world with more resiliency is to cultivate a present mind. When we are in a state of awareness we:

  • listen with more depth
  • see life with less reactivity
  • we view our existence with more spaciousness
  • see symptoms with clarity and patience
  • enact character deepening behaviors
  • stabilize our attention on things that are under our control


Finding moments throughout the day to use a focus of awareness is similar to what it feels like when you pause and reflect on the moment to moment details without a need to respond to them. Most of the time we forget how to sit and observe without needing to fill our time with more stimulus. Contemplative practices infuse our senses with a clearer perspective of what is happening around us.


Make an effort to establish a habit that slows down the process of life, such as driving without music on, taking extra time to notice tastes and smells of the food you ingest. Make it a priority each day to pause before reaching for your phone or for the remote. And try to really listen with acuteness when a friend or an acquaintance speaks. All of these things is a way to cultivate more mindfulness. The more you practice it the easier it gets. It is an overwhelmingly beneficial practice that infuses life with alertness and more enjoyment for everyday tasks. And more than anything it allows us to turn our attention away from the things we can’t control to shifting our awareness to the priorities that require our full attention.